"Blight" - A 40K short story
"Defend this hill top with your lives!"
The Commissar was shouting things again, but there was an edge of excitement in his voice, one only displayed by him. Everyone else was silent.
We crouched behind the sand bags on the hill, well, more of a heath really. I looked round at the other men, a whole platoon, yet not one man was confident, this was not a glorious fight.
"Private thall! don't look so bloody misrable, you're a member of the Imperial Guard!"
I shifted in the mud slightly, as if this patch of dark dirt was the only safe place in the world.
"sorry sir" I replied "with respect, sir, you haven't given us much intel on the mission"
The commissar put his hands on his hips and laughed as if I'd just asked the most stupid question in the world.
He grinned like a wolf; "whatever comes out of that fog, son, you will stop and you will kill" He aimed a chubby finger down the slope and into the thick fog.
"yes sir" I nodded.
All eyes were pointing down the slope now, nobody moved, nobody spoke. In the light of the twin moons i could just make out the looks on everyone's faces: fear of what would come, thats all there was, fear. We sat and waited on the edge of the void, peering into the unknown, the calm before the storm.
A voice from within the lines, and sure enough, a smell. A vile smell
Like rotting corpses, dog shit and all other manner of vile things. Men began to cough and choke, it was overpowering, I could barely stand it the smell seemed to curl down my neck and pull my lungs.
The commissar seemed oblivious, "Here they come! ready yourselves!" He reached for his belt and brought out a shining power sword, he seemed to want to fight the enemy with such..glee, he must be mad.
I fumbled for my lasgun, getting it into position.
From out the mist they came, huge figures, rotting figures. They walked in silence, every powerful step shook the bones of my very body and I knew I was doomed. They were tall, their armour was old and decayed from centuries of battle and their skin was...their skin was...
There was not skin, just stinking, rotting flesh. Organs hung freely and swung from side to side as they walked while huge boils gave birth to thick black flies whom circled there masters like a protective shield.
The commissar raised his sword to the sky and with all his breath screamed: "FIRE!!!!"
Suddenly the line of guardsmen erupted into the red beams of lasguns and the crack of heavy stubbers. The plague marines also returned fire from ancient bolters.
The Plague marines did not stop, not once did they syop there slow walk, even when their bones and guts were ripped apart by the barrage of fire from the Imperial line. I tried to fire my lasgun but the man next to me was suddenly torn apart in a blur of bolter shells, he did not utter a word, it was as if he was torn apart by invisable hands and dropped to the floor in a pool of blood.
Suddenly his cause of death became apparant, the sandbag wall had been torn apart by the explosive bolter rounds.
I searched the warzone for the commissar, The line had broken in so many places, guardsmen with such horrific wounds lay screaming for their mothers and in the middle of it all was the commissar.
He snatched a laspistol from a man whose guts were no longer part of him and wasted all its power in two seconds. I jumped and ran to him, dodging the bullets, trying not to step on the mutilated bodies or men. diving behind the remnants of the sandbag wall
"commissar! we cannot hold this place!" He shouted of the noise of war
"No! it is our duty to die for the Emperor! Only then will our souls be pure enough to enter his court!"
He finally drew his own bolt pistol, twisted like a snake and fired at a man running for his life. The guardsmen crashed to the ground as his exploded.
"Commissar we cann-"
I went flying through the air as the sandbag wall exploded and a plauge marine came crashing through. In one hand he held a diseased bolter the other was bloated and appeared incapable of holding anything.
The commissar screamed a heroic "For the Emperor!" and in one swing cut the marine's bolter arm right off. He barely noticed.
Instead of screaming in pain like a normal man, the plague marine ignored his missing arm and in one quick action grabbed the commissar by the neck.
"I will des-"
he was interrupted by the sound of his neck breaking.
I was on my hands and knees now, the sounds of battle were becoming quieter now, the plague marines had won.
I backed up against a crate of ammunition, the one armed plague marine approached me stopping only a metre away.
"Grandfather Nurgle is merciful" one arm said, he voice was someone distorted.
I looked up in fear, other plague marines began to gather around me, there cold eyes staring into mine.
"But only to those who will accept the truth"
He extended his swollen arm, I knew what he wanted, I hesitated.
He noticed my hesitation "renouce the false god"
I reached out.
I took his hand.
he pulled me to my feet, and placed a lasgun in my hand.
"we will make you the very thing you once feared"
I looked down at my hand.
I noticed a fresh boil.
Ok, doing good gentlemen.
(Except Karak, you are not really a gentleman, but more brutal.... a brutalman